German national stranded at Indira Gandhi International airport for 54 days due to nationwide lockdown

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 11, 2020, 03:40 PM IST

Representative image Photograph:(AFP)

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The airport staff is feeding the German as the 40-year-old has no money. 

A German national, Edgard Ziebat has been living in the transit area of New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport for the past 54 days. 

The 40-year-old was on his way from Hanoi to Istanbul on March 18. On that day India cancelled all flights to and from Turkey due to surge in coronavirus pandemic. On March 22, India put a hold on all international flights to contain the virus, three days later on March 25, India imposed complete lockdown. The lockdown is to be lifted on May 17. 

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) spokesman confirmed the news and said: "We confirm that a foreign national is currently in the transit area of the international terminal of Delhi Airport due to non-availability of regular flight to transit onwards. Appropriate authorities were informed about this in good time. They are in dialogue with the foreign national."

Ziebat's case was unlike other stranded passengers, he has a criminal record in Germany with many cases of assault and other criminal activities. The German embassy has refused to take custody of Edgard Ziebat because he is at a foreign location. Due to his criminal record, India has denied Ziebat a visa. 

Ziebat stays in the terminal with his only luggage, according to airport authorities the German is spending his time by reading newspaper talking to his friends and family over the phone, eating at few of the fast-food outlets that are still in operating within the terminal, interacting with housekeeping and security staff, taking walks within the transit area, and using the airport’s washrooms and toilets. The airport staff has provided Edgard Ziebat with recliner, mosquito net, toothpaste and food. 

The airport staff is feeding the German as the 40-year-old has no money. 

No international flights are active except cargo planes. 

Ziebat was asked to go wherever he wants but no flights have been active thus he remains stranded. He was offered to accommodate in a relief flight to Turkey but the Turkish authorities refused to do so as it was only for Turkish nationals and permanent residents.